The landmine is an incredibly effective and cost efficient way of incorporating variation to many of the standard exercises seen in today’s training programs. Because of the unique angle, the landmine allows users to train angles not normally targeted when using the standard dumbbell and machine making it a very “functional” training method. Perhaps the best functionality of a landmine is one does not need a landmine function to perform these exercises. Set a bar up in a corner and get to work!
Listed are 5 landmine exercises worth knowing. Not only do they train a variety of muscle groups and movement patterns, but they can be progressed (or regressed) based on one’s current fitness level.
Using the landmine for the squat is a great way to practice proper movement mechanics as it “forces” trainees to perform the critical elements of the exercise. The landmine squat is also a great way to progress the goblet squat, especially when increasing the weight of the kettlebell may not be possible.
- Set up facing the bar and step back so your body is slightly angled
- Spread the feet hip to shoulder-width apart
- Initiate the movement by sitting the hips back while simultaneously bending the knees
- Keep the bar in both hands directly in front of the chest
- Standing up by bringing the hips back under the body making sure to keep the feet flat
Landmine Chest Supported Meadows Row
The Meadows Row was made famous by John Meadows, world class bodybuilder, as he used the exercise as a means of building strong lats. Using a chest supported version allows one to target the back further and minimize the likelihood of “muscling” through the move.
- Lay chest down on a 30-45 degree incline bench
- Hold the bar to your side, arm extended
- Imaging the elbow driving up and slightly back begin to row the bar up to the armpit
Landmine Curtsy Lunge
The curtsy or crossover lunge is a challenging yet effective exercise for targeting the muscles of the inner thighs and deep glutes. The key element of this exercise is two fold: ensure the non-moving leg sits “back” with the hips and the moving leg adopts a step back and across. How that “back and across” looks will vary person to person but generally it should be somewhere on a 45 to 60 degree angle.
- Hold the bar in front of the chest with feet hip-width apart
- The leg furthest from the landmine base steps back and across while the hip sits back
- Keep the front (non moving) foot in contact with the ground
- Allow the torso to lean slightly forward
The landmine sit up is a challenging method to spice up the old-school, standard sit-up.
- Lying on your back, extend your legs out and slightly apart
- Hold the landmine just below the chest in front of the sternum
- Perform a sit up while simultaneously pressing the bar up and forward
- Return to start
One of the best aspects of the landmine is the ability to train through rotation. The landmine 180 is a total-body exercise that trains midline stability and strength. Be sure to start conservative on these, weight isn’t the focus.
- Face the landmine with feet hip width apart and the bar held in both hands in front of the chest
- Begin to twist to the left allowing the right hip to follow so that most of the weight is on the left
- While twisting bring the arms in front of the left hip
- Reverse by driving the left hip as you begin to twist back to the center line and through to the right side
Hope you’ve enjoyed these landmine exercises worth knowing!
Special thanks to my colleague and Release Muscle Therapy for collaborating on this project!